Despite a large cloud of uncertainty hanging over fall college football, watch lists for potential 2020 award winners continue to come out. Charles Snowden leads the way with frequent appearances on watch lists, but a special teams star got into the mix with Wednesday’s new list.
Outside of the UVa sports bubble, ACC football power Clemson shared a change to its 2020 fall academic schedule.
Delaney on Groza watch list
Virginia placekicker Brian Delaney earned a spot on the Lou Groza Award watch list. The award goes to the nation’s best placekicker. Delaney is one of five ACC kickers on the list.
Delaney performed well in 2019, making 50 of his 52 extra points and 20 of his 24 field goals. He made a crucial field goal in the final minutes of UVa’s victory over Virginia Tech.
UVa’s coaches rave about Delaney’s confidence, and he’s set up to be the starting kicker in 2020, assuming the season safely occurs. Special teams coordinator Ricky Brumfield also shared over the offseason that Delaney wants to compete for the punter role as well. Nash Griffin, who returns, was the starting punter a season ago.
While losing Joe Reed will hurt UVa’s special teams unit, the Cavaliers should perform well in the kicking game with Delaney and Griffin on the roster.
Snowden on Nagurksi listSnowden’s name pops up on a handful of preseason watch lists. If the 2020 season occurs, plenty of eyes will be on UVa’s star linebacker. He’ll be easy to spot.
Standing at 6-foot-7, Snowden uses elite length, speed and strength to disrupt opposing offenses. He’s a solid pass rusher, and he’s also capable in coverage. Snowden deflected 11 passes in 2018.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy goes to the best defender in college football. Snowden is one of the 17 ACC players on the watch list, which has 98 players total.
In 2019, Snowden finished the year with 72 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and five sacks. He’s an integral part of UVa’s defense, and the senior linebacker enters the fall with college football pundits intrigued.
Clemson delays classesIf the college football season begins on time, the ACC’s most dominant football program in recent years will play its first three games while attending classes online. Clemson announced Wednesday that it will begin its fall semester online with in-person instruction not beginning until Sept. 21.
The semester begins online on Aug. 19.
“After extensive analysis by our internal and external public health experts and lengthy discussions among the leadership team, we simply don’t see the situation improving enough over the next few weeks to safely bring students and employees back to our locations in large numbers in August as originally planned,” Clemson President Jim Clements said in a statement.
The university did not announce any changes to athletes currently on campus nor the upcoming college sports schedule. The ACC is expected to make an announcement regarding fall football by the end of the month.
UVa has not announced any changes to its fall academic or athletic calendar outside of a previous announcement from the ACC delaying the start of fall sports until Sept. 1 at the earliest.